A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Guilty Pleasures’ chapter eighteen


This chapter is more than three pages. I am very surprised.  It’s a chapter with a Message.

Anita comes out of her boss’s office and walks right smack into the family whose son wants to become a vampire.

He looked about fifteen, but I knew he had to be at least eighteen. Legally, you cannot join the Church of Eternal Life unless you are of age.  He couldn’t drink legally yet, but he could choose to die and live forever. Funny, how that didn’t make much sense to me.

It doesn’t make much sense to anyone. You’d think they’d have strict laws on making decisions about life and death in a country where something like contraception is still hotly debated.  Anita gives the mother a business card for a guy who specialises in vampire cults and she shits all over Anita – in a high society, words only way, mind you. She doesn’t want her son brainwashed.  She wants to save the brainwashing for when her child has terrible mind control powers! Anyway, the woman is entirely unaware that vampires can do bad things because apparently everyone in Anita Blake’s world, apart from Anita Blake, has all the brain capacity of a lemming unable to tie a noose. Jamison, the man who talked them into turning their son into a terrible monster, says that Anita is a vampire slayer, killing innocent helpless vampires who only tried to defend themselves.

This would be an interesting moral debate if everyone aside from the main character wasn’t written as being mind-numbingly stupid. That was a problem I had with the Sookie Stackhouse books; that if your opinion differed from the main character, you are sooooo stupid and mean and just a nasty person with no redeeming qualities.  It is possible to have someone as opposing the viewpoint with your main character and still be a nice person, you know.

“Poor little vampires, poor misunderstood creatures. Right? The one who branded me slaughtered twenty-three people before the courts would give me the go-ahead.” I yanked my shirt down to expose the collarbone scar. “This vampire had killed ten people. He specialized in little boys, said their meat was the most tender.”

“You don’t understand them.”

“No!” I shoved a finger in his chest. “You don’t understand them.”

It’s going to be hard to build this into an interesting plot when it’s clear everyone seems to operate in half wattage. Anita yells at Jamison for being a fucking idiot and to her surprise, Phillip the strip club human chewtoy is waiting for her at the office.

“Jamison Clarke, this is Phillip… a friend.” The moment I said it, I wanted to take it back. “Friend” is what people call their lovers.

No, I call my friends friend. That’s what it means, a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard. Anyway, Phillip has come on over to find out where the hell old JC has gone. Aha. Now there’s a guy who Anita would like to label “friend”. He flirts around with her, but Anita isn’t into it because well, after watching the act and what she’s been through, it’s a bit ick.  They do agree, however, to go out for lunch.

Tomorrow: come back for the thrilling ride of what Anita will have on her salad and the rudeness of the wait staff!

This is not what I expected from a ‘fast-paced, tough0edged supernatural thriller’. This thing is reading like running through treacle.

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